Me­dia lost fo­cus on cheat­ing scan­dal

The Covington News - - Opinion - Pa­trick Du­rusau is a Cov­ing­ton res­i­dent.

The me­dia has fo­cused on the Atlanta Pub­lic School cheat­ing scan­dal.

How the me­dia loves a scan­dal. It will pass on to the next scan­dal, crim­i­nal trial or “wake up call” soon enough.

Be­fore it does, though, there are some valu­able lessons in the Atlanta scan­dal.

First, the num­ber of ed­u­ca­tors charged cheat­ing is 178, of which some 82 have con­fessed to cheat­ing. That sounds and is bad. But that’s a small per­cent­age of the 3,000 teach­ers in the sys­tem. Even if 300 had cheated, that would have been only 10 per­cent of the teach­ers in the sys­tem.

The mar­tial in­fi­delity rate is be­tween 30 to 60 per­cent over the course of a mar­riage. I would say that Atlanta schools are do­ing bet­ter than mar­ried couples. Far bet­ter. But we should not ex­cuse the cheat­ing.

I don't know of a so­lu­tion to mar­i­tal in­fi­delity but I do know the pro­posed so­lu­tions for Atlanta school cheat­ing have the wrong fo­cus.

All the ones I have heard to date fo­cus on the teach­ers.

Teach­ers can al­ways use more re­sources, train­ing, and the like, but work­ing with poorly-sup­ported chil­dren is al­ways go­ing to be a los­ing propo­si­tion, no mat­ter how good or well sup­ported the teach­ers may be.

How do you iden­tify a poorly-sup­ported child?

They’re the ones whose par­ents don't take an in­ter­est in ed­u­ca­tion, don't help with home­work and don't keep their child from idling about the streets.

Also, a poorly-sup­ported child has the TV or an empty home as a baby sitter.

And, a poorly-sup­ported child has no rou­tine or ex­pec­ta­tion of one.

Ev­ery as­pect of a poorly-sup­ported child's life, eat­ing, sleep­ing, study­ing (?) are catch-as-catch­can.

The truth is, a mi­nor­ity of Atlanta teach­ers cheated be­cause chil­dren in their classes could not suc­ceed with­out cheat­ing.

Are we send­ing sim­i­lar chil­dren to school in New­ton County?

PA­TRICK DU­RUSAU COLUM­NIST

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